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UK: student mobility data now visual, interactive

The British Council has launched an interactive data visualisation tool to illustrate trends in international student mobility and the UK’s changing role as both a study destination and source of international students.

The data is broken down into four sub categories: gender, age, subject and study level.

The graph uses coloured dots that rearrange to show annual changes in either incoming or outgoing students

The elegant online tool shows the number of students moving between the UK and 25 different countries each year between 1996 and 2012. The tool also reveals the impact of UK policy decisions and global socio-economic events on inbound study including the end of Post-Study work and the Asia economic crisis.

“Many are familiar with the story of how more Indian and Chinese students came to the UK… but the tool also reveals some interesting sub-plots”

Based on data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and UNESCO the graphs use coloured dots – each representing 250 students – that rearrange to show annual changes in either incoming or outgoing students.

The data is further broken down into gender, age, subject and study level sub-categories, marked out by colour when selected by the user.

Users can hover over any country to see how many UK students studied there or how many students from that country studied in the UK in any given year.

The graph rearranges to show changes in incoming/outgoing student numbers each year

The graph rearranges to show annual changes in student numbers

The tool marks significant events affecting student movement in and out of the UK at key points in the timeline, such as the closure of the Post-Study Work route in 2012.

“Many are familiar with the story of how more Indian and Chinese students came to the UK as their countries’ economies grew and their higher education policies and international outlooks developed but the tool also reveals some interesting sub-plots,” Michael Peak, the British Council’s Education Research Manager, commented.

“The decline in Malaysian student numbers around the time of the south-east Asia financial crisis; the emergence of Saudi Arabia from 2007 onwards following the introduction of their large-scale scholarship programme; and the decline of Greece as a sending country after higher education reform at home” are particular highlights, he added.

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